Silent Revolution, Counter-revolution or Cultural Conflict? Political Cultural Change and its Influence on Class Voting This paper deals with the linkage between changes in the political culture and changes in class-party alignments. First, we investigate how the political culture in Western countries has changed over time. Three views are tested using data on party-manifestos. The first predicts that only new-leftist issues will increase in salience. The second predicts that both new-leftist and new-rightist issues will emerge at the same time. The third, which is empirically corroborated, predicts that first new-leftist issues will emerge followed by a rise in new rightist issues. Second, we investigate how the emergence of these new issues has affected the traditional class-party alignments. We show that the middle class increasingly votes left-wing as newleftist issues become more important and that the working class increasingly votes rightwing as new-rightist issues become more important. The middle class also appears to alienate from the traditional party of their class as new-rightist issues rise in salience.

, , , ,
Centre for Rotterdam Cultural Sociology (CROCUS)
Res Publica: Belgian journal of political science
Department of Sociology

van der Waal, J., & Achterberg, P. (2006). Stille revolutie, contra-revolutie of cultureel conflict? Veranderingen in de politieke cultuur en hun invloed op het klassengebonden stemgedrag. Res Publica: Belgian journal of political science, 48(4), 369–392. Retrieved from